The Cyrille Regis Legacy Trust photos of Cyrille

Barnes delight at trust progress

Football legend John Barnes will be the star guest at the (Cyrille Regis Legacy) Trust’s fourth “graduation day” for youngsters completing our Strike A Change programme. 

John, a hero of Liverpool and Watford and 79-cap England international, will be at The Hawthorns tomorrow (July 22) to offer inspiration and congratulations to our most recent crop of participants.  

This year, some 84 youngsters from around the West Midlands enrolled on the annual programme, which provides mentorship to teenagers identified by community departments from the region’s League clubs. Through a combined programme of education and football, the Strike A Change programme offers a guiding hand to those participating.  

John has been aware of the Regis Trust programme since its launch four years ago and is eager to see the progress made in that time.  

“Cyrille remains a legend in the game, an inspirational figure to so many players,” said John.   

“I was delighted to hear from Julia about the development of the Trust, its programme and how it targets help for youngsters who may be facing difficulties. That’s exactly what Cyrille stood for.   

“When Julia asked if I would come to this closing session and take part in the graduation event, I didn’t hesitate. It will be a privilege to come and see the programme at work first-hand.” 

John will give a 20-minute speech about Endurance before engaging in a Q and A with the youngsters.   

It will bring down the curtain on another year of growing recognition for the Trust’s activities which are all about promoting the issues Cyrille fought for both during his playing days and beyond.   

His widow and Trust chair Julia reports: “We launched just as COVID arrived and brought so many challenges for the first couple of years.  

“As a result, last year felt like Year 1, and this year has continued to grow from strength to strength. We already have the next cohort identified and could have filled the places available twice over.  

“We have expanded our board of Trustees and had support and recognition from the National Lottery and the PFA. And, of course, we are just closing our year as Albion’s official charity partner.   

“We’re in a very positive place, and I am so grateful to have John on hand to see for himself how we have made progress. It should be an exciting session for the youngsters to have such a legendary player in the room.”